I just watched Rush the other night and I loved it. It’s such a perfect story to tell, something you’d have thought was fiction. Visually, it pulls you in. The rain makes you feel drenched and the environment around puts you on the track.
But the characters made the movie. I had a hard time deciding who the writers wanted me to “root for”. But that wasn’t the right way to approach it. As the movie and characters ran into problems, made good and bad decisions, pissed people off, they felt more real. Rarely are people true heroes or villains, and some of the most interesting are both. Rush didn’t just pit these two protagonists against each other, it showed how they were really fighting themselves. They both win when they conquer their own problems, not when they defeat the other.
This all comes to mind in context of watching the Breaking Bad. Neither Tuco, Gus, Uncle Jack, nor even Jesse were really the “villains”. They were tools that Walt used as he played the villain of his own story. For much of the series, it would be difficult to point who is the moral “good” or “evil” at that point. Walt lied, hurt, deceived and killed, just as his enemies did (just as both Niki and James did, except for the killing part). But we still wanted him (and N+J) to win.
I think that’s why the Breaking Bad finale was so satisfying. All of Walt’s villains were finally put to rest.